Tag Archives: short stories

Introducing Team Orange: J.L. Gentry

Many people have made the Orange Karen Anthology possible and we are grateful for each and every one of them. In the upcoming weeks we will be featuring the amazing people that are part of “Team Orange”. You’ll get a chance to meet the authors who have contributed stories, the editors, our cover designer who donated his time (and you’ll get to see the cover!), and those helping to format the books. It’s a big job and I’m so thankful to have an amazing team to help bring the dream of having an anthology where proceeds go to Karen DeLabar to fruition.

To start, let me introduce one of our authors, J.L. Gentry. After the interview below, read on for a “sneak peek” of his story to whet your appetite.

Enjoy!

Christina

Author Name: JL Gentry

Title of Short Story: Little Wing

In 25 words or less tell us what this story is about:  It is a fantasy of a young, winged woman and her winged guardian facing terrible obstacles to reach their final destination where the truth of their existence is revealed.

How did you come up with the concept for the story?  My inspiration was the Jimi Henrdix song of the same title.

What prompted you to submit your story to the Orange Karen Anthology?  I have been an e-friend of Karen’s for a long time. We share a love of writing and running as well as a birthday.  To top it off, she lives a few miles from where I grew up. How could we not be friends?

Tell us one thing about yourself that we wouldn’t know about you from reading your bio I’ve never watched any of the Twilight movies or read the books, so I don’t know what that glitter thing is all about.

What is your favorite “orange” item? Why?   Carrots. They are good in any form, add great taste to other dishes and don’t have a lot of attitude.

If you had to use your favorite “orange” item to save the world, what would you do with it?  It would be as an orange sonic screwdriver (tip o’ the hat to Doctor Who)

Dr. Who Sonic Screwdriver combined with the power of “Orange” would be able to save the world!

Who inspires you? Why?  Music, my friends and family. Inspiration is all around me and I become more aware of it every day.

Excerpt:

The jolt of the air was devastating. Each attempt to reconcile her flying failed. She gasped as the pain of her injury seared through her body. The air around her was almost too violent to breathe. She coughed, trying to fill her lungs while falling through the stormy air toward land she could not see. A rocky peak appeared out of nowhere. She tilted her body, racked in pain, to avoid collision. Barely clearing the obstacle, she righted herself, lowering her flight to view a barren surface full of sharp rocks and dark sandy soil. The surface below the storm was like none she had ever seen or imagined. She had known only the fertile glades and hills of her homeland. This space, outside of the lochs that bounded her land, felt of desperation. It was a desolate place. A place they were only allowed to pass over on their final journey. So taken by the ragged, sharp vision, she lost perspective; the surface seemed to reach up and grab her, pulling her into its grip. She stumbled, lurching forward, wings clutched for protection, but still her limbs were bruised against the rocky surface. The wind roared around her and the blowing rain masked her tears of desperation and pain. Failure consumed her as she pulled herself into a ball and felt the irritation from the many cuts and scrapes administered to her by the unforgiving rocky surface.

      It was done. Her first and only mission. Her one goal in life, smashed against so many rocks on a desolate coast. The pity absorbed her as she shivered; the pain in her knees a suitable punishment for her inability to meet her obligation. With one deep breath, she envisioned her demise on the rocky shore. Her soul would abandon her long before she perished for lack of food or water. She had been raised to thrive in the bondage. Without that, she would fade away like the mist being devoured by morning sun.

JL Gentry portrait

J.L. Gentry is the author of SYN:FIN, the first in the Jim Harrison Chronicles. His alter ego is an IT professional with over thirty years of technical and managerial experience. When he is not working, writing, or harassing his family, he can be found running the roads and trails of wherever he happens to be that day. Enjoy life and run free.

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Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS): Dispelling the Myths

As most of you may be aware, the reason we are putting together an anthology for our friend Karen DeLabar is because last summer she almost died from Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). Her story, in her words, is a harrowing and courageous tale that, when you read it, you think could only be a nightmare. But it happened. And it happened to our dear friend. It almost took her life. Almost.

Orange Karen: Our Miraculous Warrior

Karen DeLabar starting the long road to recovery from her battle with TSS.

Many people, including myself, think of tampons when they hear about Toxic Shock Syndrome. In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, there was an “epidemic” of Toxic Shock Syndrome among menstruating women who used superabsorbent tampons. One brand in particular contained a chemical in the make-up of the tampons that prevented the filtering of the bacteria that caused TSS, thus increasing the risk. Since then, tampon manufacturers have adjusted the composition of their tampons and risk of TSS has reduced greatly.

Superabsorbent tampons in the late 70’s and early 80’s were the cause in an epidemic of TSS in North America.

Please note: This post is meant for informational purposes only. I am not a doctor and the information presented in this blog is not meant to serve as a diagnostic tool. If you have further questions about your health as it relates to TSS, please consult a medical professional.

So what is TSS?

Toxic Shock Syndrome, or TSS, is rare and life-threatening caused by strains of Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria or streptococcus (strep) bacteria that produce toxins (poisons). Initial symptoms of TSS can be similar to the flu: high fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, fainting, and disorientation. Those with TSS might also experience low blood pressure, shock, dehydration, sore throat, muscle pain, peeling skin, kidney failure, and a rash that looks similar to a sunburn. Toxic Shock Syndrome can be fatal if it is not diagnosed and treated right away.

staph

This staph bacteria might look cute, but it can turn deadly once it starts to release toxins in the body.

The most important thing we want to share is this: TSS doesn’t just occur in women who wear tampons. TSS can also occur in men and children. If the staph and strep bacteria enter the bloodstream through a cut or infection, then they may be at risk for TSS. Karen did not get TSS from tampons. Karen and her medical team are not sure how she contracted TSS, but are very sure in that she did not get it from tampon use.

What is the cure for TSS?

The first and most important thing is that TSS must be identified early enough so that rigorous treatment can begin. In most cases the goal of treatment is to keep the body functioning and to assist the body in getting rid of the infection. This is not one of those “get your prescription for antibiotics and go home, drink plenty of fluids and you’ll be back to work next week” type of infections. If you have TSS you will be hospitalized, most likely in ICU (Intensive Care Unit). Treatments may include IV antibiotics, kidney dialysis, fluid through an IV to stay hydrated, a feeding tube to give the body the nutrients it needs. In Karen’s case, she was put in a medically induced coma in order to help her live. She was hooked up to every machine possible to help her major organs to function as the antibiotics went to work to rid her of the infection.

How can I prevent TSS?

Most resources on TSS prevention include proper tampon hygiene – limiting the use of highly absorbent tampons. Since TSS can also be contracted through cuts and open wounds (including post-surgical), it would be very important to make sure wounds are clean and are cared for properly so to prevent any type of infection.

Now What?

Hopefully this post has dispelled some myths about TSS. Here’s what the medical community now know about TSS:

  • People still get TSS and it’s not always contracted through the use of tampons.
  • Open cuts and wounds can also cultivate staph and strep bacteria that can cause toxins to build up in the body.
  • It can occur in men, women and children.
  • While Toxic Shock Syndrome is rare, it is serious and life-threatening.

Resources

MayoClinic

Toxic Shock Syndrome Information Service

PubMed Health

Health Canada’s views on TSS

Sunset through the clouds

Karen was extremely lucky to have survived. Those that know her, or know of her, know it wasn’t just luck – it was a miracle. That and her “kick TSS’s ass” mentality. She’s a fighter and we’re all behind her crouched in our best ninja-fighting stance. One of the ways we’re helping Karen fight is through the creation of an anthology of short stories. We have 39 amazing authors lined up with stories guaranteed to entertain. Perhaps I’m biased, but I’d have to say that this is one of the most eclectic short story anthologies I have ever read. There’s suspense, fantasy, sci-fi, romance, humor…you will laugh, cry, swoon, and cheer! I can’t wait to share it with all of you, but you’re going to have to wait until April 2013!

Stay tuned as we will be featuring the Orange Karen Anthology authors on this blog so you’ll get to know them and will get a taste of their work!

– Christina

Something for Everyone: Announcing The Orange Karen Anthology All-Star Roster

Thank you to everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to craft a short story to submit to the Orange Karen Anthology. We had a tower of stories to read!

We have a great line-up of talented authors with entertaining, funny, touching and out-of-this-world stories to be included in the Orange Karen Anthology. Readers will find something for everyone in this anthology: romance, fantasy, sci-fi, suspense, and humor, just to name a few. At the present time, our editors are hard at work tweaking and polishing, and then we will be formatting the book for e-book and paperback to be released April 2013!

But I bet you’re all sitting on the edge of your seats wanting to get to know our authors. Are you ready? Here’s the list!

Alex Kimmell
Andrew F. Butters
Anna Meade
Anne Baker
Benjamin Cain
Cara Michaels
Christina Esdon
Christopher Cantley
D. Savannah George
E. Wells-Walker
Elizabeth Ann West
Emmett Spain
February Grace
Francis Stetnocis
Gareth S. Young
Glenn Skinner
J. Whitworth Hazzard
Janelle Jensen
Jeff Tsuruoka
Jennifer Gracen
Jerry Gentry
Jesse James Freeman
John Moore Walker
Jonathan Gould
Joseph Schmidt
Julie Glover
K.D. McCrite
Mark Ethridge
Maureen Hovermale
Patty Blount
R.B. Wood
Shay Fabbro
Sheilagh Lee
Stephanie Fuller
Steve Umstead
Steven Luna
Taylor Lunsford
Tim Queeney
Valerie Haight

Congratulations to all of our authors!

We will keep everyone posted about the developments as we go, so stay tuned!